Learn new job skills or refresh your current ones with Penn Foster Career School's Online Health Information Management program. What is health information management? Workers in this field typically handle and maintain patient records while following local and federal laws. These valuable team members need a sharp eye for detail and must be comfortable with the coding system used within the healthcare industry.
In Penn Foster Career School's Health Information Management training program, you'll learn to manage information within a healthcare setting, study legal and ethical rules, gain new communication skills, and learn how medical offices work. Plus, you'll learn at a pace that's right for you – and you can complete the program in as little as two months!
Program Goal and Outcomes
The Health Information Management Certificate program helps students learn new job skills and expand existing health care management knowledge to improve performance in their current positions.
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:
- Review patient records for timeliness, completeness, accuracy, and appropriateness of data
- Organize and maintain data for clinical databases and registries
- Track patient outcomes for quality assessment
- Use classification software to assign clinical codes for reimbursement and data analysis
- Electronically record data for collection, storage, analysis, retrieval, and reporting
- Protect patients’ health information for confidentiality, authorized access for treatment, and data security
Lesson 1: Health Information and Litigation
This lesson explores the basic workings of the legal system in America.
- Differentiate between public law and “private law”
- Understand the difference between procedural and substantive criminal law
- Explain how the three branches of government create, administer, and enforce the law
- Understand and describe quasi-legal requirements to which health-care providers are subject
- Explain the difference between subject matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction
- Explain the differences between trials and appeals
- Identify steps in a lawsuit
- Describe different methods of discovery
- Explain the different types of alternative dispute resolution
- Define the legal meaning of these terms: evidence, admissible, and hearsay
- Explain why medical records are hearsay and the exception to the rule that allows them to be admitted
- Explain the role of the health information manager in establishing the foundation and trustworthiness of records for evidence purposes
- List questions commonly asked to establish the foundation for entering records into evidence
- Explain the application of patient-doctor privilege in the judicial process
- Describe the differences between a subpoena, subpoena ad testificandum, and a subpoena duces tecum
- Compare and contrast a court order authorizing disclosure of health information with a subpoena
- Compare and contrast the three recommended responses of a health information manager to a subpoena
- Explain what to do when presented with an invalid subpoena duces tecum
Lesson 2: Legal and Ethical Basis for Confidentiality of Health Information
This lesson explores patient record requirements. You’ll complete a midterm examination following the end of this lesson.
- Summarize the multiple functions and uses of a medical record.
- Explain how sources of law influence the content of the medical record.
- Explain the length of time for which records should be retained under different circumstances and how records may permissibly be destroyed.
- Explain the difference between privacy and confidentiality.
- Discuss the sources of law upon which the right to privacy is based.
- Understand the principles behind exceptions to consent in emergency situations.
- Describe features of these relationships: physician-patient, hospital-patient, and hospital-physician.
- State the elements of a negligence claim and define medical malpractice.
- List methods of establishing standard of care.
- Explain the term res ipsa loquitur.
- Compare and contrast vicarious liability with corporate negligence.
- Describe the difference between assault and battery.
- Describe the intentional torts of defamation, invasion of privacy, and medical abandonment.
- Identify defenses commonly raised in cases involving health-care providers.
- Explain the difference between contributory negligence and comparative negligence.
Lesson 3: Health Information Access and Disclosure
This lesson explores access to health information, with an emphasis on HIPAA laws.
- Discuss who owns health information.
- Explain the meaning of “protected health information” under HIPAA’s final privacy rule.
- Explain the core concepts of HIPAA’s final privacy rules.
- List the core elements of a valid release of information form.
- Explain the principle of the minimum necessary standard.
- Identify who may release health information and methods employed to disclose health information.
- Explain the purpose of a redisclosure statement.
- Compare the judicial approach with the legislative approach for access to adoption records.
- Discuss the regulations governing patient identification and their practical application.
- Identify when substance abuse health information may be released without prior patient consent.
- Explain the difference between a court order authorizing disclosure of patient-specific information and a subpoena duces tecum and how to respond to both.
- Explain the difference between the official record and the personal record in the mental health/developmental disability context.
- Explain the benefits and risks associated with genetic information.
- Discuss the three steps of voluntary testing.
- Describe restrictions that confidentiality statutes and ethical guidelines place on HIV/AIDS information.
Lesson 4: Health Information and Medical Office Administration
This lesson explores risk management and quality management. You’ll also learn about the transition to computerized patient records. A research assignment and comprehensive final examination follow the end of this lesson.
- Compare and contrast risk management with quality management.
- Explain how the three components of patient record requirements relate to risk management.
- Define an incident report and explain how it relates to attorney-client privilege.
- Differentiate between the discovery and the admissibility of incident reports.
- Explain the differing aims of peer review statutes.
- Describe the reporting requirements of the Health Care Quality Improvement Act.
- Compare and contrast the three broad categories of law and regulation governing the creation and storage of computerized patient records.
- List types of lawsuits that may arise from breach of confidentiality of computerized patient health information records.
- Compare and contrast physical security, personnel security, and risk prevention techniques and discuss risk prevention techniques.
- Discuss security issues associated with the Internet and email.
- Discuss how HIPAA rules impact computerized patient records.
Additional Course Material
Textbook: Legal Aspects of Health Information Management
Lesson 1: Reimbursement Methodologies
This lesson provides important information that will give you a thorough understanding of the reimbursement process and the various methodologies involved.
- Describe the history of health-care reimbursement.
- Define prepaid health plans.
- Identify characteristics of retrospective and prospective payment systems.
- Describe commercial insurance plans.
- Outline the history of Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans.
- Discuss the different government sponsored health-care programs.
- Explain how managed care works.
- Describe fee-for-service reimbursement methodologies.
- Define episode-of-care reimbursement methodologies.
- Outline the Medicare acute care prospective payment system.
- Describe the Medicare skilled-nursing facility prospective payment system.
- Discuss the different outpatient prospective payment systems.
Lesson 2: Introduction to Computers in the Medical Office
In this lesson, you’ll learn how to install and use Medisoft® software. You’ll begin work on your first graded project, which will be submitted at the end of the course.
- Review the medical billing cycle.
- Explain how computers are used for medical billing.
- Describe how health information technology is used in medical offices.
- Use Medisoft® software to perform medical office procedures.
- Enter patient information.
Lesson 3: Advanced Medisoft® Concepts
In this lesson, you’ll learn about basic accounting transaction terminology and apply this information to enter patient charges and payments. You’ll complete four graded projects and one final graded project at the end of this lesson.
- Perform charge and payment transactions for patient services.
- Post payments and create reports.
- Perform patient scheduling functions.
- Set up patient appointments.
- Complete hands-on projects using electronic medical software.
Additional Course Materials
Learning Aid: Medisoft® software and the Installing Medisoft® Advanced Student At-Home Version 16 booklet are included.
Textbook: Computers in the Medical Office
You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows® 7 or later, Microsoft® Office 2013, high-speed Internet, and an email account to complete your program with Penn Foster.
To view a Health Information Management program sample lesson, click here.
Health Information Management Program Details
Penn Foster Career School can help you gain relevant knowledge and skills, covering topics such as record storage and the ethical and legal rules covered in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
State Licensing Information
Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in this field are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state(s) where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your Program. Please click here for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information.